Firefighter who lost home to fire returns to work

Local - 2/5/2013 6:31 PM by Karen Franklin
RHODELL - A volunteer firefighter who lost his home to a fire over the weekend was back at his station Tuesday.

Nathan Shrewsbury was released from the hospital Monday after three days of treatment for smoke inhalation. He called for help from his bedroom.

"It was probably one of the scariest things I've ever went through in my life," he said. "I never realized what people go through, you know, we console them, tell them we're sorry for their loss and stuff, but I never realized what they actually lose until you've lost it yourself."

The volunteer firefighter, now in the shoes of those he saves, said he escaped through a window.

"Head first," Shrewsbury told WOAY. "The windows were high. I couldn't go out my legs first so I had to go out head first."

He didn't hesitate to save his animals.

"I couldn't let them die," the firefighter said. "I just couldn't do it. I didn't care to risk my own life because I've had them so long. They depended on me. I couldn't let them die."

Shrewsbury was saved by a joint effort between his coworkers and two other fire departments. Rhodell Fire Chief Michael Holshouser was one of the responders.

"It is scary to find, you know, a person that you know very well and work with in that situation," he told WOAY. "But a lot of your training kicks in at that point and takes over and you know what to do, but then you deal with the emotion side of it when it's all over with."

The Rhodell Volunteer Fire Department is asking for donations to help Shrewsbury get back on his feet. They have a hot dog sale planned for Friday morning at 10 a.m. at the station.

"We're a brotherhood and a sisterhood that's bar none across this country," Shrewsbury said.

Holshouser agreed.

"If we don't have each other when we're going into the fire to help somebody else, then there's no point in going."

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